Okay, here we go, the long promised part 2 of the Thomas the Tank Engine Cake Tutorial. Sorry it took so long, but I hadn’t made another since until 2 weeks ago. So, without further ado, here it is:
You can check out the previous post for how I carved the cake here.
First up, cover the entire cake with buttercream so that the fondant will stick. It doesn’t matter if it is a crusting buttercream or not, infact just butter and icing sugar beat together will work just fine. If you don’t want to go to the trouble, just brush the entire cake thoroughly with melted jam. It’s basically up to you. Personally, I find it easier to get a smooth finish on the fondant with buttercream underneath, but at the end of the day, it is just personal preference.
First up are the wheels. Colour some fondant blue (remember it will darken somewhat overnight), roll it out to about half a centimetre thick and roll out at least 6 circles. I say at least 6 because you are going to need 6, but I like to do a couple extra just in case I break one, or the kids eat one (also, this way you can pick the best ones).
Next, using small cutters or a knife, cut some bits out to make it look like wheels. The shape doesn’t matter so much, nor how many you put, it’s just to give the impression. You could even leave them solid if you like.
You really want to do this part a few days (at least overnight) before hand so they can dry and harden. Once they are cut out, put them aside on a flat surface to dry.
Next up, cut the scrappy bits off the blue and roll it a bit thinner – I like about 3mm. Put the cake right next to it so you don’t have to carry the fondant too far.
Now carefully slide both hands and arms under the fondant, lift it up gently and drape it over the cake. It doesn’t have to come right to the front because that is going to be a different colour anyway.
Now carefully using your hands (take off all rings and bracelets first), press the fondant down over the cake, easing it into the crevices and over the bumpy bits.
You’ll have to manipulate it a bit around the corners.
Now y0u need to trim the front edge. Using a sharp, smooth blade knife (NOT SERRATED!!!), cut across the front pretty much in line with the edge of the round bit, but just a bit back from it (about half a cm).
Now you need to peel off the extra bit at the front that you don’t want. I don’t usually keep this bit as it has buttercream on it and can’t be rerolled.
And from the side:
Next you need to colour and roll your red fondant, and cut one edge straight with a ruler.
Place this across the front, slightly overlapping the blue and smooth down.
Now with your sharp, smooth bladed knife, trim across the front to the edge of the blue and peel away the excess.
Now trim across the bottom to give an even bottom edge, and cut a wide strip long enough to wrap around the other 3 sides of the cake.
Now wrap it around the base of the cake and trim the ends and bottom edge.
Now cut 3 thin strips and place them across the rounded bit at the front (sorry about the lack of technical train terminology!!)
Next cut out 2 number 1s. I used a proper cutter for this, but you could easily do it with a knife. Then wrap another thin red strip around each.
Now stick them one on each side.
All you need to do now is put a face on. I made a mould from a toy and cut out eyes and a mouth.
Hope this helps.